307. Public Sector Tech, the Merits of Hyper Concentration, and Why Google is More Frightening than the NSA (Yanev Suissa)

Yanev Suissa of SineWave Ventures joins Nick to discuss Public Sector Tech, the Merits of Hyper Concentration, and Why Google is More Frightening than the NSA. In this episode we cover:

  • You’ve talked about investing “where the Valley, the Fortune 500, and the public sector intersect”. How is this different from the typical Valley-based investor? 
  • Are there any advantages to working with public sector buyers? 
  • Is there legislative risk you take on by selling to an administration? 
  • Where do you see the biggest opportunities are coming out of the infrastructure bill? 
  • Rapid fire round of questions.

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Transcribed with AI:

Yanev Suissa joins us today from Washington DC. Yanev is founder and managing partner at SineWave Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm dedicated to accelerating technologies across the Fortune 500 and public sector ecosystems prior to SineWave, Yanev worked under a couple of White House administration’s commercializing innovative tech was also an investor at NEA. Yanev, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me. Nick, nice to see you.
Yeah, it’s a pleasure. Talk us through your background, your experience in the public sector and also as an investor prior to SineWave?
Sure, my background for getting into venture is the one I tell everybody else not to follow. Let’s see, I’ve done a lot of education. So I was highly leveraged with lots of debt for a good part of my life, and then did a lot of different jobs along the way. But my most relevant job was when I left school and worked under the Bush and Obama administration. So I’m one of these political, non partisan animals that are now extinct. In Bush, it was a program we had 42 and a half billion and Obama 150 billion to invest in new tech. So all the innovative stuff that we would commercialize all direct investment, and it was a really exciting time, you know, all commercial Tech was really fun. And then from there, you know, when you control a whole lot of money, or your group controls a whole lot of money in the middle of a recession, everybody wants to be your friend, although I like to think it’s because I’m a friendly guy probably had something to do with the money. And I was recruited by the big venture funds. Was it any a new enterprise associates for a long time great firm, there did early stage investing, primarily enterprise, but we’re pretty generalist at NEA. So that was a really fun ride. But what I realized from there was the value that I could create by building something alongside NEA as a different firm, which led to SineWave, if you’re trying to get into venture governments, not exactly the logical route, but it works for some folks. And it worked for me, and I’ve enjoyed my ride so far.
I’m curious, how do you survive an administration change?
So I like to joke under Bush, you couldn’t get anything done, no matter how important and under Obama, you couldn’t get more done more irresponsibly. So it was a really interesting ride during both, you know, pace was very different, I’d say through both of them. But you know, at the end of the day, they’re both trying to do good things. And we were finance guys, we were kind of our own independent group, and kept our independence by the administrations. And so it gave us a little bit more freedom to be free of politics. But you know, in any portfolio bosses often come before wins. And that’s a political nightmare, even though the group made a ton of money for the government. So you just got to navigate that? Well.
So is this part of your angle at SineWave is helping startups navigate public sector and regulation and various rules and laws in different jurisdictions?
That’s a great way to think of it. So our kind of thing that SineWave our thesis really is that, you know, tech is no longer just Silicon Valley. And I don’t mean that necessarily, geographically. I mean, you know, it’s not just Cisco and Google anymore. It still is Cisco and Google. But it’s also everyone from Ford to Monsanto to Alcoa to Walmart, you name it, right, all the major industries. And it’s also the realm of the public sector. The government alone spend over 200 billion on new tech every year. And they’re really just another fortune 500. So all of our investments in SineWave are commercial tech. So we do like many Cisco’s, not many Lockheed, and we help open that vertical for them. And one of the cool things that’s actually evolved since we started the firm is, you know, public sectors, not what people think of it as anymore. It’s not just the Department of Defense, right? For the agencies, I’d say. And it’s not just Boeing and Lockheed or Booz Allen like people often think it’s also at&t and IBM. Its most recently Amazon and Google and Microsoft, and even more recently, SpaceX and Palantir. And even more recently, although this has been somewhat historic, but people don’t always think of it. Your Monsanto’s your Exelon, your Pfizer’s of the world, right, are all really connected to that world. So what we do is we really help our companies navigate this space, and we’ve been pretty effective at it. So we partner with the entrepreneur and do our best to execute for them.
So you kind of alluded to this at the top, but classically, the government in the public sector is not necessarily the domain of rational decision making. There are agendas that tend to supersede efficiency and cost savings in the light. So how does one target the sector effectively and, you know, push forward technologies that makes sense and should be adopted but aren’t necessarily aligned with maybe one’s platform?
Yeah, it’s a great question. And it’s a I guess, different answer than I’ve heard a lot of other people get their zero Politics really involved in what we do except for in a very minor way. I’m not trying to change, you know, immigration policy, what I’m trying to do is get a $5 million check for commercial startup, right. And the government does by commercial fact. That’s their preferred version, since we started the firm that’s evolved, but they only want to buy commercial really nowadays, you don’t build for them. That’s a typical misnomer, misimpression. And you build what you’re doing commercially. And just, they’re just another fortune 500. From an infrastructure tech perspective. And in terms of the administration changes, you got to remember the people who make the decisions that matter to a startup are what I call the bus drivers, right? So they’re driving the buses every day, the secretaries and the politicals can say, hey, maybe you should stop the bus and think about turning left. But they’re going to go right if they want to go right, and they’re probably going to go right, because you suggested they should go left, which is a quirk of the government persona. And so if you know how to get to those guys, you know, the tricks of the trade, you know how to partner with the Amazons and the IBM’s. And the Booz Allen’s and the lock eats to break through the walls very quickly, you can be pretty effective. And the only way politics can have an impact is, you know, under the Trump administration, for example, you didn’t want to be selling to BPA, right. But you might want to be selling to Homeland Security. So money tends to shift, which is why I’m SineWave. There are some players out there who focus on a particular branch of the government or consultants who know this or that group in the government, we try to be an umbrella because we really think you need that perspective of navigating across the agencies and the commercial public sector crowd in order to be effective. So that’s really the only way politics can have an impact for what we do.
Is there a timing element to engaging with some of these public sector buyers? You know, I know, in the absence of product led growth, we often work with very early stage companies precede seed. And there’s big risk to working with large commercial enterprise buyers, because tail can wag the dog pretty significantly, and you end up with a highly customized product. That’s the perfect fit for that buyer and not a fit for anyone else. Right? I can only imagine that that that could also be the case, and maybe even to a greater degree with public sector buyers. So is there a time and a place that you start trying to sell into these types of entities? Yeah, I
think I’d say there are kind of three rules about getting in with the government and engaging them and how they’re different from enterprise to the regular commercial sector, right. Obviously, they speak a very different language, but you should never build for them. If you’re building specific to them. One, now the trend has changed. They don’t like that they used to like them. But too, that’s not the kind of company I’d invest in, you want to build for the commercial space and add this as a sales vertical so that when you go public, you have this additional upside that you don’t typically get from the standard Valley crowd. The cool thing about the government is you need to engage them early, because you want to educate them, you need to kind of explain to them what they need. customers know what they need, generally. But it’s also helpful to educate early. And for what you’re building as an entrepreneur. You know, a lot of people talk about tech debt, where when you build something a certain way, it’s been very difficult to transform that unless you’ve built in the the flexibility. So we like to invest early, we do seed but we met you a and b sometimes will come in at the Series C like Charlie, but predominantly early. And the reason is, you could take path A or path B to get to your product. If you take half a the government out, if you take path b It’s still in and you don’t really mind for your commercial customers. And so we like to be there to be able to guide them. And then you know, the last two things, I’ll say on it to wrap up our one, that the government is a great challenge for startup when it comes to the demands for cybersecurity, when it comes to scale, the Department of Defense is like the fortune 500. All in one as an example. It really does challenge a startup and allows them to work with a design partner of types to get to those important enterprise wins. And then the last thing I’ll say is it’s very sticky. So unlike the commercial space, I would say the commercial space, it can sometimes be easier to get in depends, but then growing and expanding within can be difficult in the government once you’re in, it might be a little harder to get in if you don’t have someone like SineWave to navigate for you. But once you’re in it is incredibly sticky and big numbers. So that’s an advantage of public sector.
Sticky is good. So anyway, I thought it would be fun to kind of start out with some rapid fire questions. I’m just going to rifle through these. Maybe you give me less than five second answers and then we’ll go back and revisit deeper context afterwards. Alright, fill in the blank venture is blank part luck and blank part skill?
80% luck 20% skill.
Pick one VC portfolio hyper concentrated or diversified index.
Hyper concentrated.
Yes or no. AI is the most disruptive force in VC over the next five years.
Cyber–platform product or feature?
That’s a tougher one, I think it’s going to become much more of a feature a longer term.
ad privacy who’s the scariest the NSA, Google or Facebook?
I love this one. I got a great fun, you know, analogy on this one, but I definitely think it’s Google and Facebook.
Blockchain, the rails for web 3.0 in tech infrastructure or tech for niche applications?
Somewhere in between. Blockchain does not apply to every sector like it does today. But I think it will have a defined set of sectors maybe not niche, but that’s certainly a select group.
Got it. Personalized medicine — The here and the now are far far away?
An incredibly exciting space but very far to being a reality in terms of implementation.
You need to pick one youth or experience.
Tourist capital, family offices, corporates, investment banks, pension funds, are these accretive or diluted to the startup ecosystem?
Well as LPs, they’re great. But as investors in the startup ecosystem, I call them dumb money in quotations and that they’re very smart people. But in venture, they’re dumb.
And then finally, the last one COVID, the most impactful driver of our generation or marginal relative impact on tech in the historical record.
There are some areas will be instrumental in terms of you know, remote work and things of that nature. But I think that memories are very short. And so the notion that COVID is going to transform everything is a bit overhyped.
Love it. All right. So I appreciate you humoring me there. I know that these are not binary questions here. But we touched on a lot of stuff, luck and skill, cyber AI data, privacy, Blockchain, youth and experience any of these that you’d like to kind of drill into and provide a bit more context.
Sure. Yeah. I think the luck one’s an interesting one, not to kind of downplay how good VCs are at their jobs. But I describe it as a horse race. I apologize if my analogy offends anyone who’s a PETA advocate. I love animals, but I describe it as a horse race, where you know, there is definitely a science and a pattern matching to getting rid of the good horses in the race. So from that perspective, VCs have a lot of control. But there’s usually three or four thoroughbreds in any race, and which thoroughbred is going to win is a whole lot of luck. And so at SineWave, what we do is we say, alright, we’re going to make sure we pick the right thoroughbred, which I think is the skill part of venture. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to, you know, put our thoroughbred on a tractor trailer, dope it up, shoot the other horses and drive it across the finish line, to increase our odds of playing in that very big game of luck. The example I often give when people argue with me on this, which they’re welcome to, I think there’s various opinions that are totally legit. If you look, even today at Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster, which is a throwback for those who are old enough to remember those, you still can’t tell me why Facebook beat the other two, you can give some opinions, everyone’s got a different story. Most people can’t tell you at all. And that’s 2020 vision. So I do think there’s a whole lot of you know, we’ll see how things play out love to our game.
Let’s hope there’s not too many in the audience asking, you know, what is MySpace? Or Friendster? It’s it’s amazing how times change. Memories are short. What about AI? You know, it’s not, not the disruptive force that we’ve heard so many opine about here on the show.
The valley is great at envisioning the future. The question is how far in the future and there’s very rarely a distinction in people’s discussions between five years, 10 years and 40 years, right? That applies to things like quantum to space to the future of Bitcoin and to AI in the AI space. I think AI right now is a buzzword, we’ve got lots of those in our industry. And it is certainly in most cases, I’d say 99% of the deals we see. It’s just advanced data analytics using AI as a buzzword. This is not the matrix, we’re very far away from the matrix, you do see some places where there is a bit of real AI. And from that perspective, those are really Aqua hires. They don’t often become big companies. They’re kind of experimental with some corporates who could use it. So we’ll see where that goes. But it’s very early on, in my opinion. So again, buzzword, but I do think it has great potential, but I don’t think we’re there.
Right? Well, I do feel like a decade ago or so the buzzword was big data. And that was basically before we started going into machine learning. Interesting. What about the data privacy thing? You You think that Google and Facebook are the threat when it comes to privacy of the future?
Yeah, this actually ties to the cyber question you asked me. So cyber, I think will become a feature of companies. I think it will be if you’re offering a network software or a data solution, you’re going to need to have security as a feature. There will be some where it’s still independent, but you need security as a feature and associated with that. There is no such thing As privacy from a security perspective, it’s all risk management. In my mind, I forgot I was at San Bernardino where they had the whole apple thing. And everyone found out that the NSA was in their phones, which for some reason, surprised everybody. And everyone was very angry at the NSA. But no one complains about Google and Facebook. The way I say it is, you know, look, if there’s some guy in the bait guy or girl in the basement of the NSA reading my emails all day long, I feel very bad for them. And they’re not really doing that. It’s all itemized. But let’s just think of the worst situation, they’re reading my emails, and if it ever comes out, and they ever do something, unless I’m doing something bad if it ever comes out, I’m good with a lawsuit for the rest of my life. Or I’m actually doing something bad, in which case, I’m glad that they’re reading those emails. Whereas when I Google, Hey, I am buying this set of shoes. And all of a sudden, in my private email on every one of my devices, I’m getting ads and emails about shoes. That’s a lot scarier to me, quite frankly,
You sound more bearish on blockchain than many others, right. I think we’re, we may be at a peak for Ethereum and everyone’s changing their eyes to blue on Twitter, and it’s been all the rage with NF T’s and whatnot. You know, why not super bullish on blockchain?
Yeah, so distinguishing Bitcoin from blockchain. So Bitcoin I have my own opinions on but I’m blockchain. I do think that blockchain has a reasonable future and is it fantastic technology? And it’s because of Bitcoin that blockchain exists, right? They’re tied together by blockchain AI, you see, like, I see startups all the time, you know, Blockchain for downloading music blockchain for media blockchain for this and that blockchain does not solve everything. blockchain has a very specific set of features that add significant value. And unless your sector or your use case requires those features, really not necessary. And so I don’t think it gets very far features that are useful, though the security element, the verification element, the compliance elements, so things like supply chain like contracts, there’s where I see a real future for blockchain. The only problem with Blockchain from an implementation perspective is you’ve got a bunch of, you know, 18 to 25 year olds going to your youth question, building solutions for industries that they’ve never had a job and never spoken to. And so that makes it a little bit difficult to get it off the ground. But I do think it will get off the ground in the industries where it matters.
So this is why you prefer experience those that actually have some industry or domain specialization and experience.
Yeah, I think the best entrepreneurs are ones who worked at a big company or experienced in another job of problem, and then left the job to solve the problem. I found that although they’re great young entrepreneurs, and we have several in our portfolio, I do find that those who built the companies before those teams with those networks, that ability to recruit great talent, I find that those are very effective it particularly in the enterprise space,
you know, you need, I’d love to get your thoughts on the proposed infrastructure bill, where do you see the biggest opportunities coming out of it.
So the infrastructure bill, this will be a good example of where you need a sine wave or someone like sine wave to help you navigate, because it will require a lot of handing the government the way to do things in order to benefit your startup. It really is the intersection of digital and physical, which is one of our theses that sine wave, the physical world is also digital nowadays. And there really do overlap. And so that’s where the infrastructure bill provides the most benefit. Unfortunately, sometimes the government has trouble distinguishing that infrastructure is not just roads and bridges, it’s also supply chain software. It’s also cybersecurity. It’s also sensors, and data analytics, its transportation tag, all of these things from that are in our world in the venture world are particularly relevant to the infrastructure bill. And that just needs to be managed properly when you’re approaching the government for that. But I think there are billions of dollars available for startups in that respect.
So early in your answer you mentioned, you kind of have to figure out where to drive the government with some of these things. Can you translate that a bit more for us? Is that taking the bill and figuring out what that means in terms of implementation? Or is there more to it than that? Can you help us understand? Yeah,
so one big difference between the government and the commercial world is the commercial world just goes out and buys what they want. The government has to issue a request for the technology unless it’s related to defense, national defense and security. They really can’t just openly buy they have to compete for fairness reasons. But the way it really works is you spend some time with a government agency that has let’s give an example that has a billion dollars for rebuilding roads and bridges or something right. And you want to include data and sensors and other technology in that in order to manage things better. You’d want to spend too With the group that has that billion dollar budget explaining, these are some things that when you come out with the billion dollar, hey, we’re requesting solutions and people to bid for this money, that you have that as part of the offering. And I think that would be part of it, and it would be accepted, it’d be very easy to do, but you got to make sure that you’re putting that little birdie in their ear before it comes out. Because once it comes out, it’s very hard to change.
How much of working with the government in the public sector is reliant on partnerships with contractors and third party consultants that can help design you in and implement you in and even service some of these requests for bids.
I advise startups and always have like, don’t bother with third party consultants, I’m sorry, to those who I know. Like, you know, their fee based model, right, they’re gonna tell you to say, look, the government’s blackbox give us some money to help you navigate it on a monthly basis. And by the way, when we do nothing for you, we blame it on the black box. And that’s not an effective way for startups to use their resources or time, I would much prefer an investor who, for me as an example, I’m about returns and about you making progress. I say no, regularly, I don’t need you wasting your time. So that’s one element of it. In terms of other contractors like the blockades and stuff of the world, I think they can be very helpful. But what we’re seeing in our business, you know, in the early days of SineWave, it used to be a lot of direct to government. Now we’re finding that, you know, 80% of the time, were working with Amazon, we’re working with IBM, we’re working with lighters, we’re working with Deloitte, we’re working with players who are commercial players to and great for a startup on both sides, but their biggest growth verticals are public sector, Amazon’s public sector revenue on the AWS side outpaces its commercial growth on on that side. So that’s a key thing, it ends up getting the startup in in a better way, because you’re not knocking on the same door as every other startup.
So the counterpoint on the consulting and contractor side is in the bridge example, if you are one of the very few players in the country that can do smart sensor systems and a platform for monitoring bridge integrity over time, and you go and partner with let’s say, I don’t know Booz Allen, whose primary in various civil projects with the government, then if you become their preferred vendor, when the government comes to them and says, Who do we go to for solutions? And they they may implement you is is that fair enough?
I broke them in the same bucket as the names I used like Amazon and IBM and Lockheed, and those guys, yes, partnering with them as a channel partner to access the public sector. Very, very smart.
You know, back to the infrastructure bill, are there certain sectors in particular that you think the legislation will have the most impact on, I think, critical infrastructure, which involve anything cyber related the both physical and cyber security of any type, which involves both software and sensors, and AI, and quotation marks and all other things of that nature, that will be a huge, huge space, I think supply chain, you know, know, your customer logistics, everything related to security with supply chain, this is where blockchain companies, by the way, potentially have a huge opportunity for my last point, that I think will also be another massive realm for this. And then the third area, I’d say is anyone who’s doing anything related to like the climate tech space, when I think about climate Tech, I think of it as another vertical, kind of like public sectors, another vertical of the data companies or the etc, types of companies. But if you are doing something in that space, I think that will also be impactful for the infrastructure bill.
You need any thoughts on sort of the venture environment, right? We’re in this interesting hype cycle. Some of it is real, clearly some of it maybe not so much and a venture firms. I mean, you got a16z, doing the 100 million dollar seed company. I mean, it’s kind of at a level that I don’t think we’ve seen before. So what’s your take sort of on oversized rounds, and the the speed with which rounds need to be completed, offers are getting out in days instead of weeks or months? How do you kind of view this environment that we’re in and maintaining your competitive edge and ability to do diligence and compete with, you know, some of these folds bracket, massive seed phones?
Yeah, so I think two parts to what’s occurring, I think, the high level parts that I think are occurring, one is the proliferation of this later stage mass amounts of money from what I call dumb in quotation marks and that they’re not stupid. They’re smart people, but they’re dumb when it comes to venture. And that’s Uber phenomenon. I call it the Uber phenomenon. Uber was the first company or at least it was the one that brought to everyone’s radar screen that companies can say public for a very long time. Right? So the big banks, the big pension funds, the big all of those guys, right, wanted to come in and get a piece of that value that growth. And so they all came into venture But what they didn’t realize is that venture is not finance. You cannot do financial modeling on a series a company. I mean, you can and we do but come up with like finger in the wind type of stuff. And so that I think is where these crazy valuations are coming from everyone just wants dibs on things, they have a ton of money, you saw Softbank, you saw all of those players, it provides an opportunity for VCs who can play the game well, so at later stages, taking money like that is fine. And in fact, for VC firms, if you’re a fund manager, they’re an exit opportunity now, right, you can sell to them. And I think that that’s an interesting opportunity for venture actually, on the earlier stages, your point about the 100 million dollar series A rounds, that is a competitive dynamic that I think earlier stage funds, like SineWave need to manage. And that is an Andreessen phenomenon in my mind, or at least, I think that they started or got the most publicity for it, where they’re doing, you know, 100 million dollars, and I shouldn’t speak for them, this is my opinion, or how they approach it, I think their philosophy is put $100 million in a seed company, who cares? As long as we get one GitHub or one Facebook, what does it matter, and then we’ve got dibs on it, and we win the round, and we don’t have to compete in the same way, etc. And that’s okay. I mean, we’ll see if that plays out for them. In some cases, it has in some cases, it hasn’t. But now the other big firms are jumping on that bandwagon, too, because you know, it’s a lemmings based industry. And that is a hard thing to navigate when you’re a small funds. And I think the way we do it at SineWave is a few fold one, we find companies where other people aren’t looking because we have these networks that are different from the typical VC. And so then we’re able to, you know, manage valuation, manage the deal still bring in syndicate partners from the top funds, if we think they’re relevant, but keep things in a little bit more of a controlled environment. And the other thing I’d say is, you know, you add value, right, we have a very strategic value, you want us on board, you can’t be crazy about valuation, you got to be you got to be fair, right? You don’t have to get an advantage, but you don’t get an advantage. I do think entrepreneurs get over their skis, you saw this happen over the past few years. Now, it’s even worse, where you know, people would raise Series C, like Charlie valuations at a series a level, and then they finally got to Series C, like Charlie or series D, when people really do demand that you have 20 million in revenue, and you don’t even that you’re growing at a great speed, you’re just not growing 10 miles ahead. And that screws them big time. I seen it over and over again.
Right. So Is that really your superpower?
You know, as a firm, and as an investor, I think our superpower as a firm is we don’t compete in the same way, right? So we’re not playing the same game, we have a very unique strategic value add that is increasingly important to entrepreneurs. If you look at the top enterprise public IPOs, recently, they all had massive public sector verticals. And we can open that for them. So we get to be both an institution and a strategic. So I don’t need to compete with Sequoia because I’m different. And I could do deals with Sequoia as an example. Right. And so I think that’s really where we’re unique, we’re able to add a value that the standard Valley crowd, I think does not do as well as we do.
You know, another question sort of where regulation meets the industry, I guess, is, with the company staying public lot longer, as you cited and various regulation in the private equity markets, you know, any thoughts on secondaries and secondary markets? You know, are we gonna see more liquidity? Should we expect more marketplaces? Will this become more fluid transactional space in the secondaries market future here, we still kind of in this weird place where you have to try and get access, you know, as an investor, and a lot of the employees just get left holding the bag if things don’t go well. Yeah, there’s two countervailing phenomenon here that, you know, I didn’t go too far to my Uber thesis. But this is the next level of the Uber thesis, which is, you know, all these banks and folks came in off their balance sheets, then they realize why are we doing this, let’s just, you know, punch it back one level to the high net worths and family offices who invest in us and let them take the risk. And we’ll just take a fee. So that led you to a lot of the secondary markets, backs smacks of their own thing. But there’s that’s an element of it getting into these venture firms early, but certainly buying employee shares trying to buy venture shares. So I think that that’s a huge advantage. For us. It’s an exit opportunity from again, DME and quotation mark money that I think is is unique. On the other side of things for employees, your question about that employees, I think it’s going to be difficult because of the proliferation of the secondary markets. Startups are adding very clear restrictions on employee shares and transfers of shares. Some are allowing it, but they’re allowing it in very controlled ways, which as a VC, I think is smart. Because you don’t want to give the market the impression that everyone’s running away. But you do want to give your employees who have been around for five to 10 years the opportunity to buy a home. And so I do think that these programs are managed data bricks. One of our startups, for example, has a pretty established program for how it deals with employee shares and their opportunity to sell or not I think that that’s really important. And that comes from Facebook. By the way, Facebook and Uber people were in it forever, and they couldn’t afford to send their kids to just a nursery school, or whatever. And so these that’s where these programs came up.
But you know, largely speaking, secondaries are still cool, you know, game, it’s an access game there, there aren’t really leading marketplaces that allow, you know, one to post their shares and sell them, or should we expect that here in the next three plus years, or is it still pretty far off? I know, Carta has been working on that. But it seems like it’s a bigger challenge than many have realized.
Right now. It’s primarily run by brokers. So that’s how a lot of the secondary stuff gets done. I do think there are marketplaces in fact, my partner in the fund back actually started a secondary marketplace years ago, it was one of his successful exits as an entrepreneur. And so I do think that there will be these marketplaces, but they’ll be for large institutional investors or for large groups of shares. So employees will probably for a long time have to go through the company itself.
Yanev, if we can feature anyone here on the show, who do you think we should interview on what topic? Would you like to hear them speak about?
You know, the ones I love who we actually office with in San Francisco, we’re both in the valley and DC in New York is Correlation Ventures. They’re a very interesting approach to venture in that they’re completely database. So that intuition about team that I mentioned, not part of their decision making in a real way, I shouldn’t speak for them as I remember. And that’s not part of it. They look in very specific data things. And I think they’re one of the few that does that. So just a very different approach than the one I just promised those guys today.
Interesting. Yeah, I recently came across a group that’s also using an automated process to assess the founders profiles, the the market opportunity, etc. And they make their decisions based on that. And the final score that pops up in the, you know, as a result of the algorithm, it’s and talk about, you know, AI or its future again, data analytics, but certainly taking people out of the equation, right.
Yeah, I mean, it’s fascinating it’s also horrifying in a way but it’s it’s fascinating. You need what do you know you need to get better at?
We’re soon approaching fund three fund one has been fantastic, fund two’s looking pretty great. Also, the we’re approaching fund three a when you’re a new firm are found founders will resonate with this, also startup founders, you’re really trying to just get off the ground. Like I always say, I have this vision of Rome. But right now I’m in a little tent on the top of a hill, one of one of the seven hills, and I like don’t even have running water yet, right or even fresh water. And so you got to do what you need to do to stay alive and to start to build the hut. Now we’re, we’ve got the fun, too, we’ve been pretty successful knock on wood. And so we have, let’s say, like a mini village, or maybe just a nice home, but you want to build, you know, the the broader other six hills. And I think, you know, luckily SineWave is in that place. But in order to do that, you really have to do some processes implementation hiring, it takes it to another level. And so I’ve learned that you got to do what you need up front. And it is what it is. But if you do it well, you can then build grown and so you know, step by step. And we want to get to the vision as fast as possible, but you got to do it step by step and make sure each step is done well.
Great final words a great note to end on. Any other final thoughts or info for the audience and listeners, you know, best ways to connect with you and follow along with SineWave?
sure what we in our team is on LinkedIn and on Twitter individually, you can email us to just whitespace that SineWave VC but we’re also going to soon lodge people look at interestingly, my partner Rebecca is a stand up comic and I used to do Broadway stuff. So we’re funny combo, and we’re gonna launch like a TikTok series on bench. Oh, you’re kidding. Us, I hope, certainly different. So hopefully you pay attention. And we’ll get to do that with you guys at some point.
Oh, can’t wait. Can’t wait to check it out. Well, Yanni. This is a huge pleasure. I appreciate you humoring us during the rapid fire questions, but also appreciate the contrarian viewpoints and your willingness to share. So thank you, sir.
Thanks for having me.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai